The European Commission will set out a strategy to boost the number of graduates, improve the quality of education and maximise the contribution that higher education institutions can make to helping the economy emerge stronger from the crisis.
The modernisation of higher education is a priority for many Member States but the potential of higher education institutions to contribute to Europe’s prosperity and fulfil their wider role in society remains under-exploited. This is why education is at the heart of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Under the strategy, the EU has set a target is to increase to 40% the proportion of 30-34 year olds with a higher education or equivalent degree (achieving the goal would mean an extra 2.6 million graduates).
Our economies need more graduates overall: according to the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop), 35% of all jobs in the EU will require high-level qualifications by 2020, but only 26% of the total workforce is currently educated to tertiary level.
Despite rising unemployment in the wake of the economic crisis, graduates are significantly less likely to be out of work compared to those without a degree. At the end of 2010, the average unemployment rate among graduates in the EU was 5.4%, compared to an overall unemployment rate of 9.3%.
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||Cambridge University: exterior views of King's College and students, United Kigdom, 2005 (3 shots)
||General views of the library in King's College (3 shots)
||Chemestry Laboratory in King's College (4 shots)
||Oulu University: general view and views of the Multimedia room and computer class, Finland, 2006 (3 shots)
||University of Barcelona: general view of the central building, Spain, 2006
||Students during a lesson on the international economy, several Scandinavian and Dutch Erasmus students are sitting in the first two rows of the class (3 shots)
||University of Salmanca: general view of the front door of the University, Spain, 2006
||Lecture on theory of the language with various Erasmus students (2 shots)
||Erasmus students at the Academic Information office and regularising their academic papers (3 shots)
||International courses panel and international lessons (4 shots)
||University of Louvain-La-Neuve: student arriving to the Economics Department of the University, Belgium, 2006
||International economy lesson (2 shots)
||Vidzeme University College of Valmiera; exterior views, Latvia, 2005 (2 shots)
||Erasmus students from the Netherlands talking and reading a brochure with information about the university at the stairs of the college building (2 shots)
||Students in a French lesson (3 shots)